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Israel Govebnment Welcomes Johnston’s Mission to Relieve Tension

October 19, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Government circles today welcomed the appointment by President Eisenhower of Eric A. Johnston as his personal representative in the Near East to attempt to relieve tension between Israel and the Arab states.

“Israel is looking forward to Mr. Johnston’s imminent arrival in the hope that he will succeed to convince the Arab countries of the futility of their present position in maintaining a permanent petty war which only defers stability in this part of the world,” a Government spokesman said.

The Israel Government is convinced that she will be able to impress Mr. Johnston with Israel’s readiness to face each Arab country at a round table conference with a view of discussing peace as well as problems of mutual interest.

(In Washington, the White House emphasized that Mr. Johnston’s primary assignment was to work with the Arab and Israeli governments on joint projects that would help to solve refugee and economic problems. However, his broad instructions include efforts to relieve tensions wherever possible. He is not, however carrying any blueprint for Israeli-Arab peace, as such. The White House said Mr. Johnston reached Europe and was expected to proceed to the Near East within the next two days.)

Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett yesterday conferred -with Francis H. Russell, United States Charge d’Affaires in Tel Aviv, and expressed gratification with President Elsenhower’s appointment of Mr. Johnston as mediator between Israel and the Arab states. Mr. Sharett promised full cooperation and stressed the fact that Israel is ready to do everything in her power to reduce the existing tension. He also suggested to Mr. Russell to use his good offices to bring about high level-talks between Israel and Jordan for restoration of border security.

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